Book Review-The-Three-Secret-Cities

~~~~~~~

The Three Secret Cities

(Jack West Jr, #5)
by

Matthew Reilly

 

Prior to the release of Matthew Reilly’s new book, The Two Lost Mountains (Jack West #6), on Tuesday October 13th, to refresh my memory I decided to listen to previous books Three Secret Cities and The Four  Legendary Kingdoms again after finding both in our library’s audio collection.

The Three Secret Cities is set immediately after The Four Legendary Kingdoms and Jack West is still trying to save the world while the underworld kings and villains are trying to eliminate, or help Jack because of his achievements in the underworld games.  This is why I recommend reading The Four Legendary Kingdoms again simply because there are several characters, both villain and heroes, included in The Three Secret Cities, who were introduced in Legendary Kingdoms.  Fortunately Reilly mentions the fact that characters have been part of Legendary Kingdoms and does not dwell on their part in that story.

Again The Three Secret Cities sees Matthew Reilly putting Jack West (Junior) through all sorts of trials in another action packed adventure which contains enough characters, mythical or otherwise, to make his story almost believable.  It’s nearly two years since I read The Three Secret Cities and rated it as a five star read.  I think it still worthy of another five star rating in 2020.

Matthew Reilly fans will again fall in love with Jack West’s adventure.

After my second read of

The Three Secret Cities (Jack West Jr #5)

 

The Three Secret Cities

I have again rated it

 a fast paced action packed

five star read.

At the time of completing

this review (October 2020)

other Goodreads readers had awarded

The Three Secret Cities

an average of 4.32 stars

from 4,866 ratings

and 504 reviews.

******

The Three Secret Cities

can be purchased on-line at

Booktopia, and Fishpond and Amazon‎

Book Review-The-Four-Legendary-Kingdoms-2020


The Four Legendary Kingdoms

by

Matthew Reilly

2020

Recently I noticed two things of interest.  First Matthew Reilly’s new book, The Two Lost Mountains (Jack West #6), is due to hit the shelves on October 13.

Second, my local library had audio versions of The Four Legendary Kingdoms and The Three Secret Cities on their digital shelves.  To refresh my memory I decided to listen to previous books Three Secret Cities and The Four  Legendary Kingdoms again after finding both in our library’s audio collection.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms was as good the third time as it was the first.  As usual, Mr Reilly’s action hero was full of action, overcoming the odds to win where he should not.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms is set around games of a mythical origin with competitors ‘selected’ to compete from all around the world.  So what better way to work Scarecrow into an adventure which is primarily a Jack West (Huntsmen) book?  And that is the only part of the story I will reveal here.  Fans of all things Matthew Reilly will love the plot/storyline, as I did.

After my third read of

The Four Legendary Kingdoms

The Four Legendary Kingdoms (Jack West Jr, #4)

I have again rated it

 a fast paced action packed

five

read.

At the time of completing this review (September 2020)

other Goodreads readers had awarded

The Four Legendary Kingdoms

an average of 4.30 stars

from 7,152 ratings

and 692 reviews.

************

2019

It was recommended to read The Four Legendary Kingdoms again prior to reading Three Secret Cities, Matthew Reilly’s latest work.   This was good advice as it has been a year or two since The Four Legendary Kingdoms was published and Three Secret Cities is a sequel which continues on from the end of The Four Legendary Kingdoms.

I do not normally re-read a book however; in this case it was well worth reading again.  More to the point it was as enjoyable in 2018-2019 as it was in 2016.

 

October 28, 2016

Back writing in his best style another action packed adventure from Matthew Reilly.  A definite FIVE star book and to say anymore would give away story and plot.  Except…I am sure there will be a sequel.

***

I have rated

The Four Legendary Kingdoms

The Four Legendary Kingdoms (Jack West Jr, #4)

as a

read.

It is a fast paced,  action packed

read and worthy of a place on

My Favourites

shelf.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms

can be purchased on-line at

Booktopia, and Fishpond and Amazon‎

Book-Reviews-A-Spark-of-Light

A Spark of Light

by

Jodi Picoult

I borrowed A Spark of Light (the audio version) with hope that this would be another good work from Jodi Picoult.  Unfortunately I was disappointed and was ready to quit it at the halfway mark of the 105 minute long first chapter.  I did persevere through chapter two, 77 minutes, however, before the halfway mark of the 85 minute long chapter three I made a decision.   A Spark of Light was not for me.

A gunman in an abortion clinic holding those inside hostage and one of the hostages was the daughter of one of the policemen surrounding the clinic.  As I approach the 5 hour mark of this reading, the hostage situation is still at a standoff and I have had enough.  I’m certain the abortion issue could have been addressed a different way.  I also found the narrator uninspiring and while accents may have been appropriate but they also fell into the irritating category.

I rated

A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light

 as a lone

1 star book…not finished, abandoned.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

A Spark of Light

 an average of 3.70 stars,

from 92,989 ratings

and 10,745 reviews.

A Spark of Light

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-Return-to-Rosalee-Station

Return To Rosalee Station

(Rosalee Station #2)

by

Mandy Magro

Return to Rosalee Station was my third book written by Mandy Magro and possibly the pick of the three.

Return to Rosalee Station is set about eight years after Matt and Sarah elope in Rosalee Station, and in the first twelve months after an accident claimed the life of their young daughter Eve.  Matt has taken to substance abuse leaving Sarah to battle her own demons, alone and lonely.  Both are considering the future of their marriage.  Will it survive the strain of an untimely death?

Eventually Matt decides to return to Rosalee Station (his parents property) on his own believing the isolation will help him in his ‘cold turkey’ bid to overcome his addiction.    While he is away Sarah returns to her parents or a few weeks.

Part of my review of Rosalee Station contained negative comments regarding Louise Crawford’s character voices.  Based on the fact that throughout my life jackaroos (station hands) have usually been in their twenties, I stated that many of the ‘boys’ sounded like old men.  Some of these characters are reprised in Return to Rosalee Station with two of them being aged at nearly seventy and in his sixties, if my memory is correct.   My apologies to Ms Crawford for my earlier comments; her character voices sounded more appropriate this time round.

Fortunately rhyming slang was minimal in Return To Rosalee Station and if I was listening properly there only seemed to be one outstanding passage where coarse language was over used. 

Overall, I found Return to Rosalee Station more believable than its predecessor Rosalee Station.  How, family members manage their grief after a death in the family is totally different for everyone, so much so that it can tear a family apart as Matt and Sarah feared.

 

I rated

Return To Rosalee Station

as a three star audiobook

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Return To Rosalee Station

an average of 4.02 stars

from 123 ratings and 25 reviews

~~~~~

Return To Rosalee Station

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Book-Review-Jacaranda

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Jacaranda

by

Mandy Magro

 

Jacaranda was my second Mandy Magro book and turned out to be very similar to Rosalee Station only this time round the story focused on Molly Jones and her daughter Rose.  Rose is the product of a one night stand when Molly was a drunken nineteen year old.  Six years later she is still trying to find Rose’s father while ignoring her long-time friend and mate, Heath.

Eventually Rose’s father, Mark, does return with a rodeo.  Molly and Mark meet up, get together and you will have to read the book to find out what happens.

Jacaranda is not (thankfully) littered with Australian slang to the overpowering extent of Rosalee Station.  The lack of Australian slang made Jacaranda much easier to listen to and earned it an extra star.  However, Jacaranda still is definitely of the ‘chick lit’ genre and does provide a breather from the crime genre which is my choice of reading material.

I would like to hear Ms Magro’s books co-narrated by Louise Crawford and a male narrator.  This would, hopefully, provide better male character voices.  One brief appearance by a male who I thought should have been at least ten years older than the boys actually sounds much younger.

Overall, a light read with some insight into Australia’s Outback.

I rated Jacaranda as a three star audiobook.

I rated

Jacaranda

Jacaranda

as a star audiobook.

*****

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Jacaranda

an average of 4.14 stars

from 354 ratings

and 26 reviews.

Jacaranda

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book-Review-Rosalee-Station

~~~~~

Rosalee Station

(Rosalee Station #1)

by

Mandy Magro

 

Rosalee Station was my first Mandy Magro book and at times I thought it would be my last.  Set in Queensland and outback Rosalee Station it tells the story of Sarah Clarke, her friends and her love life.  I have read several other authors whose work was described as ‘chick lit’; however, Ms Magro has outdone any other (audio or written) chick lit novel.

There were times when I was shaking my head at the juvenile antics of the females in this book. Sarah was twenty-three, however both Sarah and her friends came across as early teens on many occasions.  Similarly several of the boys sounded like old men with their deep, drawling, voices.  This may have been narrator’s interpretation of the way this age group talks and behaves.  If so, it has done nothing to help me enjoy Rosalee Station.  If anything narrator Louise Crawford’s character voices played a large part in relegating Rosalee Station to two star status.

I am not on my own when I lament the overuse of rhyming slang, which at times, reminded me of primary school toilet humour.  I must be getting old!  It is unlikely that international readers would be able to interpret some of the included slang.  For me, the rot began within five minutes of the story when Sarah and boyfriend went down to the dam for a swim and a ‘quickie’ under a gum tree.  I really think Ms Magro did herself a disservice sinking to that level of writing.  As I said I must be getting old!

On that small plus side, and there is one, if you can overlook or enjoy that type of commentary (toilet humour – because it does get worse out at Rosalee Station), you may just enjoy Rosalee Station as a very light look at outback life through the eyes of these Jackaroos and Jillaroos.

I rated

Rosalee Station

Rosalee Station

as a two star read/audiobook

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers had awarded

Rosalee Station

an average of 4.04 stars

from 336 ratings

and 29 reviews.

Rosalee Station

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

Book Review-Surviving-Ice

Surviving Ice

(Burying Water #4)

by

K. A. Tucker

 

Surviving Ice is the fourth and last of the Burying Water series by K. A. Tucker. 

Surviving Ice is set in San Francisco and features Ivy the prickly tattoo artist from early offerings in the series. 

Yet again Kathleen Tucker writes her novel so that it could be read as a standalone or part of a series.  There is just enough background to tie characters together without overwhelming (series) readers with too much already known information from previous books.

 

In a nutshell, Ivy narrowly misses out on coming to a tragic end and then slowly falls in love with the mercenary who was sent to end her short life.  If required.

 

Surviving Ice also does away with foreign villains and uses home-grown American citizens as villains of the day.

 

.Surviving Ice (Burying Water, #4)

 

Other Goodreads readers have rated

Surviving Ice

an average of 4.10 stars

from 3,671 ratings and

453 reviews.

***

I think

Surviving Ice

is a solid

read.

Surviving Ice

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

 

Book-Review-Until-It-Fades

 

Until-It-Fades

by

K. A. Tucker

***

 

Until It Fades, is another of K. A. Tucker’s standalone novels in which a twenty-four year old waitress with her five year old daughter take the leading roles.

To say Catherine Wright has a strained relationship with her mother would be an understatement.  After leaving home Catherine decides she will not return to her family home no matter hard difficult her life is.  She finds herself working as a waitress in a truck stop.  Her boss sets her up on a blind date and it is while she is returning from this date that she happens across a car which has hit an oak tree.  She manages to free the passenger just before the car explodes.

Naturally, this is the beginning of a romance, which Catherine doesn’t think will last, with Brett, the well known captain of a Canadian hockey team.  For me, the star of this book was Brenna, Catherine’s five year old daughter.  Until It Fades is a light, easy and enjoyable read.

I rated

Until It Fades

as an enjoyable

four star read.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have rated

Until It Fades

an average of 3.98 stars

from 12,837 ratings

and 1,495 reviews.

***

:Until It Fades

Until It Fades

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 ***

Book-Review-Wild-at-Heart

 

Wild-at-Heart

by

K. A. Tucker

***

Wild-at-Heart, by K. A. Tucker is a sequel to The Simple Wild.  After the death of her father, Wren, Calla returns to Toronto where she tries to recommence her ‘normal’ life.

However her father’s death and no Jonah has left a huge gap in her life.  Finally Jonah turns up, in Toronto, unannounced and asks Calla to move to Alaska.

A log cabin out in the bush is not quite what Calla was expecting and she does have trouble finding her way especially when Jonah is not around.

 

While I enjoyed Wild at Heart as a story the tension between Calla and Jonah did not permit any of the repartee sprinkled throughout The Simple Wild.  I just loved The Simply Wild banter.  In fact it was not until about half way through Wild at Heart that Calla struck up friendships which permitted her to show the cheeky side of her personality.

I rated

Wild at Heart

as an enjoyable

four star read.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have rated

Wild at Heart

an average of 4.39 stars

from 4,098 ratings

and 865 reviews.

***

Wild at Heart: A Novel (The Simple Wild Book 2) by [K.A. Tucker]:

Wild at Heart

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 ***

Book-Review-The-Simple-Wild

 

The Simple Wild

by

K. A. Tucker

***

The Simple Wild, by K. A. Tucker is a story of reconciliation between father and daughter in the small fictional town of Bangor in Western Alaska.   Calla hasn’t seen her father (Wren) since she was two.  Twenty-four years after her mother left Alaska, Calla receives a message from a total stranger telling her that her father (Wren) is very ill.  That in a nutshell is the beginning of The Simple Wild, a Western Alaska romance.

Upon arriving in Alaska, Calla finds that her Toronto finest is not suitable for the wet muddy conditions Alaska presents.  Calla’s initial meeting with her pilot (Jonah -AKA, The Yeti) is strained, to say the least, and it takes a while before she sees, and understands, Jonah’s true personality.  A similar first encounter with her father ensues.  It is only after this very tentative beginning to Alaskan life that Calla grows to love her father, his friends and in particular the Yeti.

I enjoyed the humour sprinkled throughout The Simple Wild and constantly found myself chuckling at the repartee between Calla and Jonah.

I rated

The Simple Wild

as an enjoyable

five star read.

At the time of writing my review

other Goodreads readers have rated

The Simple Wild

an average of 4.44 stars

from 19,662 ratings

and 3,502 reviews.

***

The Simple Wild

can be purchased online at

Booktopia, Fishpond and Amazon

 ***